The first CCS credits intended for the open market are now officially available for sale to mitigate anthropogenic disturbances in greater sage grouse (GRSG) habitat in Nevada. These 875 available credits are the result of two CCS credit projects located on private ranches within Elko County in WAFWA Management Zone III. Assessment of habitat within the project areas on these ranches and utilization of the CCS Habitat Quantification Tool (HQT) led to the calculation of the habitat function for GRSG and the number of credits available for preservation of the current high quality habitat in each project area.
Specifically, the John’s and Cottonwood Ranches have worked with partners to determine their available credits for the CCS, finalize their management plans, and respectively have 164 and 711 credits available for sale. The landowners also aim to further enhance the habitat for GRSG by planting sagebrush and forbs, which may make additional credits available for sale if measurable habitat improvements are realized. The sale price of the credits will be based on market value and determined in private negotiations between the landowners and mitigation buyers. Upon sale of credits, the landowners will each commit to preservation and management of more than 1000 acres of high quality meadow and upland habitats for GRSG for at least a 30 year period. A portion of the funds exchanged at the time of sale will be set aside to ensure adequate funds are available for managing the projects and monitoring to ensure the high habitat quality within each is maintained over the course of the commitments. In addition, a third party verifier will assess habitat quality within the project areas every five years to ensure the habitat quality complies with the conditions that were committed to when the landowners enrolled their credits. The projects will coincide with the ranches continuing their livestock operations yet managing them to ensure compatibility with their commitments to high quality GRSG habitat.
A small amount of additional credits were calculated through the HQT assessment in association with each project, but are not available for sale. These credits instead enter a reserve account to ensure the CCS achieves net conservation gain of GRSG habitat even in the case of losing habitat within a project or multiple projects to wildfire or intentional reversal.
Additional information on these and other credit projects is available in the Results section of this site. To establish contact with the landowners regarding the available credits, please contact the SETT.